Reports are surfacing again that Lamar Jackson turned down $133 million fully guaranteed


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On the first Sunday of the regular season, ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen reported that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson turned down a contract offer that would have paid him $133 million, fully guaranteed upon signing. Most recently, ESPN analyst Ryan Clark reported the same.

Here’s what we said in September, as it still applies: “There are some gaps in the reporting that make a full assessment of the bid impossible. What would the first year’s cash flow have been? How much of the contract would be guaranteed for injury? How much of the injury guarantee would have been converted into a full guarantee by March 2023 as they couldn’t possibly have suspended him after just one year given what they would have paid him in 2022?

It is impossible to fully evaluate a deal without knowing its full value. Any payment, any guarantee, any vesting deadline, any incentive, any escalator, any de-escalator, any training bonus, any roster bonus, any option bonus, any per-game roster bonus, and any other device from which money would flow. team to play.

It’s also irrelevant at the moment. Circumstances have changed. Jackson’s rookie contract is up. He ended the season with an injury that forced him to miss more than a few games for the second year in a row.

Other long-running big-money quarterback deals (such as those to Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray) may have become cautionary tales as well.

Will the Ravens make the same offer now? Will they offer more? Will they offer less?

Are they content to let Lamar test the market under the non-exclusive franchise tag? Would they match someone else’s offer? Would they be willing to make a few picks in the first round instead? Would they trade him for anything less than two?

Now these are the important questions. Hearing again (and probably again) that he was offered $133 million fully guaranteed upon signing means nothing in itself, and it means even less given the passage of time.

So unless Lamar or the NFL Players Association or the Ravens are willing to divulge the full contents of offers that have been made, it is impossible for anyone to call a deal good or bad, fair or unfair, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. While that doesn’t stop people from reporting incomplete facts about the negotiations, past or present, those who see the information should remember that there’s no way to judge the full deal without knowing the full deal (spoiler alert) .

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